Celebrity news & gossip from the world’s showbiz and glamour magazines (OK!, Hello, National Enquirer and more). We read them so you don’t have to, picking the best bits from the showbiz world’s maw and spitting it back at them. Expect lots of sarcasm.
‘IT’S grim oop north but luckily, as a new drama from the BBC proves, the television isn’t.
Tonight, BBC1 screens the two-part black comedy The Stretford Wives, in which Fay ”Cold Feet” Ripley, Claire Rushbrook and Lindsey ”Eastenders” Coulson star as sisters trying to deal with the realities of life in a tough, working-class part of Manchester.
Ripley is the most dominant of the sisters, Donna, a light-fingered mum of two having an affair with a policeman while waiting for her abusive psycho of a husband to get out of prison. Moving in with her is Rushbrook’s Elaine, who has just dumped her junkie husband in favour of her boss. Unfortunately, he also happens to be married.
And looking down on her siblings, with the possibly justified belief that they’ve made a complete hash of their lives, is Coulson’s hypochondriac Lynda. Jealous of her sisters’ closeness, she’s just itching to find an opportunity to prove herself superior and to interfere in their messy domestics.
The fine cast is completed by Sixties icon Rita Tushingham as the mother of this dysfunctional trio, and the original script is by Clocking Off writer Daniel Brocklehurst.
The Stretford Wives screens at 9pm, with the second episode showing at 10.35pm.
‘YOU would think that a show called Tourists From Hell would have so much scope.
The producers could put together a programme each week from a different continent – loud Americans in checked shirts mispronouncing London locations one week, Australians knocking out passers by with their oversized backpacks the next, and Japanese creating a bottleneck on the tube by taking pictures of the scruffy busker at the bottom of the escalator after that.
But tonight’s Tourists From Hell (ITV at 9pm) is all about our fellow Brits.
Not the doddery kind who wear matching anoraks and tote around spare supplies of Marmite and baked beans while moaning about the sun in whichever country they happen to be visiting, however.
These tourists from hell have been transported to such exotic locations as San Antonio, Greece and Blackpool, dosed up with alcoholic beverages and various other substances, and then captured them on film for the benefit of the viewing public.
As you can guess, it’s not all sunshine and donkey rides. Basically, it’s nothing that you can’t see for (or do) yourself while on holiday along any stretch of Mediterranean coastline.
Expect to see plenty of pasty bare buttocks, run-ins with the local constabulary and drunken attempts to open plane doors at 30,000 ft.
‘IT’S 25 years today since Elvis left the building for good. Or not, depending on whether you’re one of those people who thinks he never really died at all and you’ve spotted him anonymously packing shelves at your local Tesco.
Received wisdom has it that on August 16, 1977, Elvis died of a heart attack at the age of 42 after taking a cocktail of drugs. A post-mortem is believed to have revealed that his veins were full of pure bacon fat.
But being dead hasn’t stopped the big man raking in the dough. He’s the world’s top-earning dead celebrity, pulling in £24.1 million a year. Could that heart attack have been nothing more than a canny career move? He even spent a month at No.1 this summer – ah, the wonders of modern technology.
Having spent all week screening tributes to the man with the most provocative hips in history, the TV channels seem to have run out of documentaries and profiles to show on the actual anniversary of his death.
But that shouldn’t stop you commemorating the big man yourself. All you need is a tight white jumpsuit, a bucket of fried chicken, and the Nike ad played on continuous loop.
The King is dead. Long live the King.
‘MOST of us only see the countryside as we drive down the motorway from one urban sprawl to the next (note: it’s the space just beyond the grass verge). But since the county of Dorset has no motorway, it’s left to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to show us what it looks like down thar.
|”I wasn’t getting minced tomorow, I’d probably top myself anyway”|
And it looks like the version of countryside Britain Beatrix Potter thought was too twee for her menagerie of talking animals to inhabit.
Last night, Hugh told us how to spiritually heel a calf called Trilby, watch a hen’s egg boil into life and coax a pig though an assault course of traffic cones.
He then went to the seaside, where armed with a simple rod and line, he promptly caught more fish than a Spanish trawlerman, before returning to his River Cottage home and the chance to cook some homegrown courgettes.
The buzzword was ”delightful”, the music was upbeat jazzy skittle and Hugh was in his country idyll.
Of course, it’s all utter bilge. In reality, Hugh is a media hungry Channel 4 ham, and the countryside is peopled with fox hunters, petrol rebels and people called Wayne and Bianca.
Even the first-rate beef and designer vegetables Hugh is so proud of can be bought for a fraction of the effort and cost at the local hypermarket.
But could it be no-one has told Hugh? If he carries on in the current vein, local media students will start making programmes about him.
‘IF you thought Big Brother was over for another year and we could all o back to whatever it is we do for the other ten months of the year, you are very much mistaken.
Channel 4 are determined to milk every last drop out of this particular cash cow and have followed up the dire awards ceremony on Sunday with a daily update on winner Kate’s week.
For those of you who don’t know, Kate’s week consists of her saying ”Omigod” a lot and saying ”Wicked” a lot. She hasn’t yet graduated to ”Omiwickedgod” – but, given that she was off to see some male strippers last night, it is only a matter of time.
How much more Big Brother can we take? One second of Davina McCall is enough to have us reaching for the remote – although another Celebrity Big Brother with her, Dermot O’Leary, Graham Norton and the assorted celebrity hangers-on who turned up on Friday night would make great TV.
Especially if someone lost the key
‘THE normal parasites have started hanging round Big Brother in the past few days. Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, for example, turned up on Friday night nominally to support Alex but really to try to boost her flagging profile.
|A useful warning for Davina’s husband|
Graham Norton lost no opportunity to plug his show by coming out in support of Jade; Holby City’s Jeremy Edwards was somehow corralled last night to present the award for most memorable moment of the housemates’ 64 days ‘inside’.
And a whole host of minor celebrities and people who should know better have traipsed in and out of the programme in the past couple of months to give their thoughts on the various non-entities inside the human goldfish bowl.
But the truly frightening thing is what Big Brother has done for the career of Davina McCall.
The banal questions she asked the housemates on Friday night (including the absurd ‘How would you like to be remembered?’) was topped only by the combination of overexcitement and self-importance she brings to what is a glorified game show.
If it means never having to see her on our TV screens ever again, we would happily bear the cancellation of Big Brother 4
‘IT’S unfortunate, but somebody’s got to win it. And tonight, we finally find out which one of the four remaining housemates is destined to grace the front pages of the weekend’s tabloids before going on to host an obscure programme on cable TV.
|Please, let this be the last we see of Jade|
Will it be odds-on favourite Kate? The ‘pretty blonde’ has endeared herself to viewers by rarely wearing anything more than a bikini, flirting with every male in the house but Sandy, and ruining the bedroom carpet after over-indulging in Black Tower.
Or will it be fireman Jonny, who’s proven how adept he is with a hose? The bookies’ favourite for most of the series, he survived numerous nominations for eviction, possibly because he stopped eating his toenails in public.
Perhaps Alex will walk off with the cash. At the start, he looked a sure thing for eviction with his constant whingeing and petty nagging. But the moaning model has blossomed in the house and – though he doesn’t have a lot of competition, admittedly – has revealed himself to be the wittiest of the lot.
Or will it be Jade? Please, God, no. In her favour, the walking gob from Bermondsey has repeatedly demonstrated that there are no depths to which she will not sink in order to entertain. But just bear this in mind – if Jade wins, she will be defiling our TV screens on a regular basis for at least the next couple of weeks.
So who will win it? You decide.
‘AS the housemates enter their last full day in the Big Brother house, everyone is one happy family all of a sudden – just before they walk out the doors tomorrow evening and never see one another again (except, of course, at the obligatory film premiere and D-list party).
|Jade – the sensitive side|
‘I love you, Jonny,’ whispered Alex, blinking back the tears. ‘And I love you, mon,’ mouthed Jonny. ‘I love you, Jade,’ Kate told the Bermondsey bigmouth. ‘And I love you, Kate,’ replied Jade, in between mouthfuls of cream cake.
‘I love you, Alex,’ said Alex. ‘I love you too,’ he replied. ‘Except when you’re drunk and then you behave like a complete prat.’ And with that the housemates went to bed and peace descended on Walton Mountain, sorry the Big Brother house.
‘Good night, Jonny Boy.’ ‘Good neet, Kate lass.’
But – as always – the last word goes to Jade, who last night revealed a secret talent: the ability to eat a four-fingered Kit-Kat in one go.
‘I’ve shown all sides of me,’ she said. ‘People have seen my angry side, me getting annoyed. They’ve also seen my bitchy side, they’ve seen my happy side, my funny side, me cry, my listening side, my sentimental side – they’ve seen everything.’ Indeed they have, Jade – and some of us are still recovering from the shock.
‘How can a clam cram in a clean cream can? Big question. A good question. The kind of question that keeps the Big Brother quartet talking loud and long into the night.
|Jade keeps her mouth shut for once|
But while three out of four get their heads around the problem, one struggles to get her mouth round the words. And her name is Jade. For reasons best described as cruel, Jade was allowed to read the rules for the final task.
One has to spin plates (Kate); one has to perform magic tricks (Jonny); one has to play an accordion (Alex) and one has to be a ventriloquist. And that last job fell on Jade’s broad shoulders.
Having extracted her puppet from the box, Jade called it William, compared its hair to Tim’s (the best line uttered by Jade thus far) and placed her hands somewhere guaranteed to have a watching PJ squirming with confused memories.
The cast then got down to drinking a blend of lager, cider and rose wine. Jonny felt sick; and to facilitate the upchuck, Jade stayed close by. Who needs fingers down the throat when you have Jade? Not Jonny.
Soon Alex went to bed. Jade went to bed. And Jonny fawned and fondled a drunken Kate, asking her to get in the pool in her undies.
Any more of this and Jonny will be the next one to leave, taken away at speed in the back of a van with blacked out windows and a siren on the roof.
The end is coming, and it needs to come quick.
‘ALL ‘Porchugenees’ speakers beware – Jade is interested in your language and plans to murder it at her considerable leisure.
|Pork scratch and sniff|
Over the past few weeks, Jade has come to resemble some Del Boy/Hilda Ogden hybrid. ‘Mange tout, mange tout,’ says Del Girl. ‘Look at my lovely muriel,’ says the linguist who sounds like her tongue has been placed in the immortal Ogden rollers.
Alex is still her main source of information, her window on plant earth. This is dangerous, and although Alex is well travelled, and has a German mother, he is still not the last word on international relations.
The last word is usually Jade’s. And when Kate and Jonny began to take the rise out of her, comparing the erstwhile Jade to EastEnders Pat Butcher, the south London terrier chimed in. She told them to stop repeating themselves.
So Kate moved on, wondering if the crowd outside on eviction night would throw pork scratchings at Jade. ‘Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!’ screamed Jade, repetitively.
So Kate tried again. She conjured up an image of Jade lunching like a seal to catch the flying porky bites in her chops.
But Kate and the rest can only wonder what will happen come E Day, when it will be time to say goodbye..
Or bonjour, as Jade might put it.
‘OMIGOD! Omigod!! Omigod!!! Yes, we have been treated to the collected thoughts of Kate in the Sunday omnibus.
Jade ripped her trousers. ‘Omigod!’ exclaimed Kate, holding her hands to her face.
Jonny and Jade got into the egg task tunnel (if you don’t know what that is, don’t ask) and swapped clothes against the clock. Then it tipped over. ‘Omigod, that must’ve hurt!’ exclaimed Kate again.
Something else happened. ‘Omigod, I’m such a blonde!’ she exclaimed.
‘We are about to go live on Channel 4,’ announced Davina. ‘No swearing, please.’ ‘Omigoodness!’ exclaimed Kate.
Kate’s consistency may yet be her undoing, the BB psychiatrist warned.
”OH my god!’ shouted Kate for the 7,945th time. ‘I’m naked!!’ Well knock me down wiv a fevver.
|Jade: Piggin’ gorgeous|
The gang were in fine form, as they drank for five-and-a-half hours, as the narrator informed us with his customary accuracy.
It was the day of the 1970s disco, and they had been given a selection of what the BB generation like to think of as Seventies attire. Soon the screen blurred as a parade of fluorescent orange and lime green flashed up.
Jade became something even more scary – Horny Helga. She leered into the BB camera and chanted her new name. A nation urinated in terror. ‘It’s a JOKE,’ she screeched. ‘I don’t look like a porn star!’ A million porn stars nodded in agreement.
But it all ended in tears. ‘I’m not happy about this at all,’ Jade told Kate, again and again. ‘You’ve been talking to Alex about myself!’
Alex was summonsed, but he wasn’t in the mood. ‘If I never see you again, it’ll be far too soon,’ he told Jade, who welled-up and went blubbing to Jonny and Kate, who she had insulted only minutes before.
This isn’t car-crash TV, it’s Potter’s Bar.
”I’D pull me pants down and have a piss in the corner!’ declared Jade, during a typically refined mealtime conversation in the house of Big Brother.
|‘If, like me, you fancy me now, you should see me in my glasses,’ says Tim|
But others had more important things to think about. Alex and Tim are both up for eviction. The two of them had a heart-to-heart. ‘Oh Tim!’ sighed Alex, after they had discussed their predicament. ‘Oh Alex!’ replied Tim.
Tim is angry because he is being ‘discriminated’ against. Not by the newspapers, who are sharpening their knives for the moment he is expelled from the house, but from Big Brother herself.
‘The fact is, I wear contact lenses,’ he whined in reply to the faceless female voice of BB. ‘Comprendez?!’ He is angry because, although he had taken his contact lenses out in the ‘dorm’, he was still expected to get up and do games (ie, roller disco) in the middle of the night,
Alex is simply losing the will to live – or rather, the peculiar approximation of living that the BB house encourages. ‘I’m just not doing myself any favours,’ he concluded. ‘It would be completely different if different people were in here ’
It would indeed, Alex. It would indeed.